When one is no longer believed, one is cooked. This old maxim, Justin Trudeau should have meditated well before the shock-testimony of his former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould. Combining the changing statements since the beginning of the SNC-Lavalin “affair”, the Prime Minister has sealed his own credibility.
In turn, its erratic management of the crisis feeds all the more the appearance of credibility of Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s story. Yesterday, Mr. Trudeau was trying to divert with a “big announcement” about Canada’s future in space. It is rather him who seems to be lost in space.
Yet, in Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s own words, the many attempts to convince her to allow SNC-Lavalin a repair agreement were not “illegal”. This is not a detail. The only infamy, according to her, is that she found them “inappropriate” and “partisan”.
Mr. Trudeau swears the opposite. What is “appropriate” or not is a very subjective judgment. Never mind, a growing share of the people’s and media court outside Quebec decides in favor of Ms. Wilson-Raybould.
In contrast, Justin Trudeau is considered a banana republic potentate so preoccupied with his own seat that he forgets the independence of the judiciary. The caricature is crude, but it is gaining ground.
The Prime Minister is even unable to respond to the strong accusations of his former minister, it is no longer a bone it gives to chew the opposition parties. It’s a full up hill!
Basically, what is it really? Until further notice, we are in a partisan parliamentary system. The Attorney General or even the Attorney General sits in the office. In doing so, its political independence is not complete.
That, in the discussions at stake, partisan considerations have been added to the public interest in preserving thousands of jobs at SNC-Lavalin is therefore nothing scandalous.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould also had the discretion to overturn the decision of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) not to offer a compensation agreement to SNC-Lavalin. What she refused to do.
Which brings us to two big missing pieces of the painting. Why did the DPP reject any repair agreement? Why did Mrs. Wilson-Raybould immediately agree and never reconsider?
In this context, since Mr. Trudeau could not impose his position on his minister, he took a risky step, but he had the prerogative. He replaced it with a more flexible minister on the SNC-Lavalin file. Which, the crisis having become unmanageable, does not change anything. In short, the mess is total.
The most ironic is this. Justin Trudeau was clumsily trying to find a “solution”, both economically and partisan. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his NDP counterpart Jagmeet Singh are partisan.
Their position is indeed clearer than ever: the devil jobs. In an election year, their only objective is to have the Prime Minister’s head.